Welcome back! If you’re following this 4-part series then you would already be 200% more knowledgeable than most in the areas of Film Pre-Production and Film Production.
Today we decode the process that comes after the Director calls Wrap! Let’s break down Post Production, giving you the info you need to feel confident and inspired to produce video for your company. (Added bonus: you’ll wow your colleagues too!)
Fix It In Post
In short, Post Production is arranging all of the segments of content that has been shot, correcting audio and balancing color, and when required adding a score (musical background) and voiceover. Sounds relatively straight forward right? It can be – but the key to a smooth Post-Production process is being 100% clear about your goals in the first two stages – pre-production and during production. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to voice any concerns, ideas or changes that you would like to address before (ideally) or during production. There is a limited amount that can be “fixed in post”, but manage your expectations by assuming that it’s spit and polish stuff only, any “editing” that can be made on set, should be! This approach might seem like more work in the moment, but trust us when we say it saves time and cost in the long run.
WIP (Work in Progress)
The first stage of post-production is to comp (compile) together the footage, using the storyboards and the Director’s input as his/her guide. Some Editors call this stage the “Story Edit”. We think it’s a good idea to show you (the client) this WIP stage – as long as you are made aware that this is NOT the finished product. There will be minimal editing at this stage, there might not even be audio yet. It’s the equivalent of sketching the outline of a painting. The purpose of it to make sure everyone is on the same page re: how the story of your video plays out. It’s about locking down the general start, middle and end, basically what scenes lead to the next.
Like it Rough?
The second stage is the Rough Edit. The Editor takes the notes in response to the Story Edit, and locks down which takes will be used for each section of the piece. He/she will then start adding their creative flair. They might clip scenes to add a sense of urgency to the flow of the piece, or they might pull in and use tight close-ups to emphasize specific moments. A rough audio track will be put in place and either the final or placeholder music/score. This stage is all about pumping up the emotion of the story that’s being told and making sure the overall piece is working in regards to pacing, flow and comprehension. You will definitely be privy to this stage and you should be encouraged to give notes, big and small. A good Creative Director will tell you what from your wish list of edits is practical to achieve within the budget and timeframe, and what might be better to save for the next production. Once this stage is signed off by you the client, we move into the final process.
This is the final stage in the Post Production process and is often the fastest as the piece is now signed off and approved. It involves digging into the Editors bag of tricks and using the right enhancements to make your video shine. This stage involves correcting the color (you will likely be surprised by how much this tweak improves the production quality), stabilization, adding special effects (such as lens flares and transitions) and more. The audio will be clean and crisp, the music will be final and sound will be balanced. This stage also includes adding any on-screen effects such as graphics, titles and other text (often referred to as “Lower Thirds”.) At the end of this process your video should be 100% ready to share with the world. Only very minor tweaks can be accommodated at this point.
OK, you have the most kick-ass Corporate Video of all time, how the hell do you get it in front of the right people’s eyeballs? You’ll need to check in next Monday as we will share best practices for the formatting of video for online and can some tips and tricks for seeding (sharing) your video.
In the meantime, if you have questions we’d love to answer them for you – send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call. If you’d like to see what we do and meet the team, then head over to our website: www.frontrunnerfilmsllc.com